Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm a proud member since 2003

If you're not a member of Dan Wickett's Emerging Writers Network, you should be. Sign up, and you'll receive author interviews, book reviews, and Dan's Holiday Gift email containing excellent works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. His blog is one of my daily stops for news and information about contests; who's written a great story or essay or poem I need to read; literary magazines I need to know about; and writers with books I need to buy. If keeping us all up-to-date on the who's who and the what's what isn't enough, Dan is also publisher of DZANC books which already has the reputation of publishing must-read work by top notch writers. Good lord, just look at what beautiful books they make.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Want to read Charles Bock's just-released novel BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN for free? Click here, and the download is yours, but you only have until Friday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Writers, READ THIS. NOW. Click here.
Mark Sarvas, novelist (Harry, Revised) and blogger (The Elegant Variation) posts about Pre-Publication Waiting, covers, and receiving reviews. Click here. I love reading about his experience while I wait and wait and fret and obsess about my own.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My own fascination with this story continues: click here.
A sinkhole for your time but you won't completely hate yourself for it: click here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm teaching the graduate level course on Teaching Creative Writing this fall. I suspect writing and submitting a Pedagogy Paper will be one of the assignments. Click here.
"There seems to be a tacit agreement about what it is not polite to mention, what it is not appropriate to portray. For some of us, that polite behavior is set so deeply we truly do not see what seems outside that tacit agreement. We have lost the imagination for what our real lives have been or continue to be, what happens when we go home and close the door on the outside world. Since so many would like us to never mention anything unsettling anyway, the impulse to be quiet, the impulse to deny and pretend, becomes very strong. But the artist knows all about that impulse. The artist knows that it must be resisted. Art is not meant to be polite, secret, coded or timid. Art is the sphere in which that impulse to hide and lie is the most dangerous. In art, transgression is holy, revelation a sacrament, and pursing one's personal truth the only sure validation."

This quote is from Dorothy Allison's essay "This Is Our World"; the emphasis is mine. It's me clapping my hands and stomping my feet and saying yep! uh huh! EXACTLY!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My son brought this brainteaser home from school the other day:

INSTRUCTIONS: Each question below contains the initial of words that will make it correct. Find the missing words.

Example: 16 = O in a P. Ounces in a Pound

1. 26 = L of the A

2. 1001 = A N

3. 7 = D of the W

4. 12 = S of the Z

5. 54 = C in a D (with the J)

6. 9 = P in the S S

7. 88 = P K

8. 13 = S on the A F

9. 32 = D F at which W F

10. 18 = H on a G C

11. 90 = D in a R A

12. 200 = D for P G in M

13. 8 = S on a S S

14. 3 = B M ( S H T R )

15. 4 = Q in a G

16. 24 = H in a D

17. 1 = W on a U

18. 5 = D in a Z C

19. 57 = H V

20. 11 = P on a F T

21. 1000 = W that a P is W

22. 29 = D in F in a L Y

23. 64 = S on a C
What is your green light???

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Koo-koo-ka-choo-look-at-that-reading-list, Art Garfunkel!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I love you, Richard Ford.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Alex Phillips just gave me an excellent Workshop Consideration matter to add to my list (his is #19.) Thanks, friend!
To see the finalists for the Minnesota Book Awards, click here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Jason Boog asks writers how'd you do that in the Five Easy Questions feature on the blog The Publishing Spot. You'll want to scroll down and browse the archives. Click here.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Who is coming with me?????!!!!!

David Sedaris will be publishing his next collection of essays, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, in June 2008. The list of dates and cities and bookstore names are below. Please contact each of the stores for more information. These will be in-store short readings followed by a book signing. Space at each event will be limited.

June 4, 2008: New York , NY , Barnes & Noble, Union Square
June 5, 2008: Ridgewood , NJ , Bookends
June 6, 2008: Boston , MA , Harvard Bookstore
June 7, 2008: Philadelphia , PA , Joseph-Fox
June 8, 2008: Pittsburgh , PA , Joseph-Beth
June 9, 2008: Ann Arbor , MI , Borders
June 10, 2008: Indianapolis , IN , Big Hat Books
June 11, 2008: Evanston , IL , Borders
June 12, 2008: Chicago , IL Unabridged
June 13, 2008: Minneapolis, MN , University of Minnesota Bookstore
June 14, 2008: St. Paul , MN , Borders
June 15, 2008: Omaha , NE , Bookworm
June 16, 2008: Kansas City , KS , Rainy Day Books
June 17, 2008: St. Louis, MO, Left Bank Books
June 18, 2008: Baton Rouge , LA , Barnes & Noble
June 19, 2008: Austin , TX , Book People
June 20, 2008: Tulsa , OK , Barnes & Noble
June 21, 2008: Albuquerque, NM, B&N Coronado Mall
June 22, 2008: Denver , CO , Tattered Cover
June 23, 2008: Seattle , WA , Elliott Bay
June 24, 2008: Seattle , WA , Third Place Books
June 25, 2008: Boise , ID , Hastings
June 26, 2008: San Francisco, CA, Books, Inc
June 27, 2008: Berkeley , CA , Diesel Bookstore
June 28, 2008: UCLA Royce Hall For tickets please call 310-825-2101 or visit
June 29, 2008: Pasadena , CA , Vromans
June 30, 2008: San Diego , CA – UCSD Copley Symphony Hall. Evening Reading and signing. For further info, go to: or call ArtPower! at UC San Diego Box Office at 858-534-TIXS
July 1, 2008: Tucson , AZ : University of Arizona
July 2, 2008: Albuquerque , NM , Barnes & Noble

David Sedaris will tour theaters in Fall 2008. Cities listed below, more information to come.

September 28, 2008 – Albany , NY
September 30, 2008 – Rochester , NY
October 1, 2008 – Princeton , NJ
October 2, 2008 – New Brunswick , NJ
October 3, 2008 – New Haven, CT
October 4, 2008 – Washington , DC
October 5, 2008 – Baltimore , MD
October 6, 2008 – Richmond , VA
October 7, 2008 – Madison , WI
October 8, 2008 – Elgin , IL
October 9, 2008 – Des Moines , IA
October 10, 2008 – Cleveland , OH
October 11, 2008 – Charlotte, NC
October 12, 2008 – Boston, MA
October 13, 2008 – Chicago , IL
October 14, 2008 – Philadelphia , PA
October 15, 2008 – Miami , FL
October 16, 2008 – Ann Arbor , MI
October 17, 2008 – Nashville , TN
October 18, 2008 – Lexington , KY
October 19, 2008 – Minneapolis , MN
October 20, 2008 – Salt Lake City , UT
October 21, 2008 – Houston , TX
October 22, 2008 – Phoenix , AZ
October 23, 2008 – Sacramento , CA
October 24, 2008 – Long Beach , CA
October 25, 2008 – Santa Barbara , CA
October 27, 2008 – San Francisco , CA
October 28, 2008 – Santa Rosa , CA
October 29, 2008 – Boulder, CO
October 30, 2008 – Tacoma , WA
October 31, 2008 – Portland, OR

Modern Love, More

Attention, college students:

The Modern Love College Essay Contest, which starts today, is open to college students nationwide. What is love, in this age of 24/7 communication, blurred gender roles and new ideas about sex and dating?

We are looking for young writers with something to say about the current state of love and relationships — true stories, rooted in your lives, that pull readers aside and say, “It’s like this ...”

The winner will receive $1,000, and the essay will be published in Modern Love on May 4.

Runner-up essays may be published as well. The entry deadline is March 31. Go to for details and an archive of Modern Love columns. A collection of columns, “Modern Love: 50 True and Extraordinary Tales of Desire, Deceit and Devotion,” is sold at

Friday, February 8, 2008

I don't know where to even start with this.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

"...there are things you have to wrestle with yourself internally that will determine in some ways how your work will impact and how long it lasts. Part of those things are outside our control. But I always ask my young writers to really interrogate how much what they're doing is about attention, how much is about approval. And that point Daniel Menaker raised today at the seminar, how much of it is really an attempt to communicate. These things often become confused. I think the desire for attention and approval disrupts the work of even the best artists. As young writers, the more you can resist the urge to just work because those are the things you want, the better your work will be.

I can't stress enough how one has to become familiar not with the lifestyle of being a writer – not going to Bread Loaf, going to AWP, doing all the social aspects of writing. But one needs to familiarize themselves with the convention they are working in, and what I mean by that is you need to read. Read the works of hailed writers, but also one needs to read the journals. You'll be amazed how many writers I know send to journals that they've never read."

Thus says Junot Diaz (and he says it well!) For more, click here.

Novelistic Fiction???

Click here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I'm not ashamed to admit it: I read the Modern Love column in the Sunday NY Times (in infact, it's the first place I go after the book reviews.) To read about how some of its writers have scored, click here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Joseph online

For the latest issue of Willow Springs, click here.

To check out "The Devil I Know is the Man Upstairs," my essay that's in there, click here. (This piece is included in my book!)
Do you like listening to author interviews? Click here.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The long long wait (I'm going through this right now): for what it's about, click here.